Historians estimate that Genghis Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, passed on his genes to 0.5 percent of the world’s population (there may be a child-support case to be made — check with a Mongolian lawyer). So, while he’s definitely one of history’s most ruthless marauders, he’s also arguably history’s most famous father.
Does that make him a parenting expert? Of course not. But you don’t take over the largest contiguous land empire, ever, without picking up a few pearls of wisdom. Here are a few life lessons that Grandpa Genghis would want you to pass along to his probable grandkids. Deliver them from atop a horse.
On Finding Your Passion
“The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy and drive him before you. To see his cities reduced to ashes. To see those who love him shrouded and in tears. And to gather to your bosom his wives and daughters.”
On Being Afraid
“If you’re afraid, don’t do it. If you’re doing it, don’t be afraid!”
On Getting Along With Siblings
“Not even a mighty warrior can break a frail arrow when it is multiplied and supported by its fellows. As long as your brothers support one another and render assistance to one another, your enemies can never gain the victory over you. But if you fall away from each other, your enemy can break you like frail arrows, one at a time.”
On Never Forgetting Your Roots
“I wear the same clothing and eat the same food as the cow herders and horse herders. We make the same sacrifices and we share our riches. I look upon the nation as a newborn child, and I care for my soldiers as though they were my brothers.”
On Getting Along With Friends
“Even when a friend does something you do not like, he continues to be your friend.”
On Being Self-Reliant
No friend is better than your own wise heart! Although there are many things you can rely on, no one is more reliable than yourself. Although many people can be your helper, no one should be closer to you than your own consciousness. Although there are many things you should cherish, no one is more valuable than your own life.
On Respecting Parents
“The vision should never stray far from the teaching of the elders. The old tunic fits better and it always more comfortable; it survives the hardships of the bush while the new or untried tunic is quickly torn.”
On Leaving An Inheritance
“With Heaven’s aid, I have conquered for you a huge empire. But my life was too short to achieve the conquest of the world. That task is left for you.”